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Your Guide to Viewing Rodin’s The Kiss at Musée Rodin

A renowned sculpture by Auguste Rodin, The Kiss encapsulates the beauty and passion of human emotions. Depicting two lovers entwined in a passionate kiss, the sculpture was completed in 1889. Considered to be one of Rodin’s iconic masterpieces, The Kiss is an artwork that explores human sensuality. Displayed in the garden of the Musée Rodin in Paris, it’s an unmissable work of art to take in during your visit.

Read on to know more about this Rodin sculpture and explore its creation, interpretation, and impact on the world of art.

Timeline of Auguste Rodin's The Kiss

  •  1889: Auguste Rodin creates The Kiss sculpture.
  • 1898: Rodin displays the plaster version of The Kiss at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
  • 1900: The marble version of The Kiss is exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, gaining widespread acclaim.
  • 1908: The French government purchases the marble version of The Kiss for the Musée du Luxembourg.
  • 1918: The Kiss is moved to the Musée Rodin, where it remains on display in the tranquil garden.
  • 1962: A cast of The Kiss is installed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, making the sculpture known worldwide.
  • 1985: The Kiss is featured on a French postage stamp as a part of the "Treasures of French Museums" series.
  • 2010: The Kiss undergoes a restoration process, allowing for the sculpture to be viewed in pristine condition by visitors.

Where is The Kiss Located?

Auguste Rodin Sculpture | The Kiss

Can I See The Kiss?

Absolutely! The Kiss is available for viewing at the Rodin Museum in Paris. Given its popularity, the museum often sees a huge crowd. You can purchase tickets online to avoid long lines.

Once inside, The Kiss can be found in the central gallery of the museum, on the ground floor in Room 5, alongside other masterpieces created by Auguste Rodin. Visitors can explore the museum on their own or opt for guided tours that offer valuable insights into the art and the sculptor.

How to View The Kiss at Musée Rodin?

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Who Created The Kiss?

Auguste Rodin's The Kiss

Auguste Rodin, a French sculptor of the 19th century, created The Kiss in 1889. The sculpture was originally intended to be part of a pair of monumental doors for a museum, but it became a standalone artwork due to its popularity.

He initially pursued a career as a decorative artist, but his true passion lay in sculpture. After several years of struggling to gain recognition, Rodin began to attract attention with his innovative and expressive style. He also incorporated movement and emotion into his sculptures, which was unusual for the time.

The Kiss is a perfect example of Rodin's style, as it depicts a pair of lovers in a passionate embrace. The sculpture is considered a masterpiece in the world of sculpture, and it continues to be a popular attraction at the Musée Rodin in Paris.

The History of The Kiss

The Kiss Sculpture

The Inspiration Behind The Kiss

The Kiss was inspired by Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, specifically the story of Paolo and Francesca. The story describes the forbidden love between Paolo, the younger brother of Francesca's husband, and Francesca, who was married to a cruel and jealous man.

Struck by the story's tragic and passionate theme, Rodin created the statue as a tribute to the story's lovers. However, there is no anecdotal reference as to who the models of the sculpture could be, thereby lending the work a more abstract and universal subject.

The Kiss by Rodin Auguste

The Controversy Surrounding The Kiss

When The Kiss was first revealed to the public in 1887, it caused a scandal due to its erotic subject matter. The sculpture depicts a passionate embrace between two lovers, with their lips locked in a sensual kiss.

The controversy surrounding the sculpture only added to its fame, and it soon became one of Rodin's most famous works. Despite the initial backlash, The Kiss is now widely regarded as a masterpiece of modern sculpture.

The Kiss Bronze sculpture by Rodin Auguste

The Evolution of The Kiss

The Kiss was initially created as a small plaster sculpture in 1882. Over the years, Rodin created several versions of the statue in different materials, including marble and bronze.

Each version of The Kiss has its own unique characteristics, and Rodin continued to refine the sculpture until his death in 1917. Today, it remains one of Rodin's most popular and enduring works of art.

Description of The Kiss

The Kiss by Auguste Rodin

The Kiss depicts two lovers entangled in an embrace, captured in a moment of passion. This masterpiece stands at over 6 ft tall and features the lovers pressed together in a sensual, yet tender kiss. The figures' bodies are contorted in a way that evokes a sense of movement and dynamism, adding to the sculpture's sense of intimacy.

Rodin's use of light and shadow adds depth and texture to the forms, making them appear almost lifelike. The woman's hair cascades down her back, and the man's hand rests gently on her cheek. The details of their clothing, such as the folds of the woman's dress and the man's drapery, further add to the sculpture's sense of realism.

One of the most striking features of the sculpture is the way that Rodin has captured the subtle nuances of human emotion. The lovers' bodies seem to melt into each other, conveying a sense of total abandon and surrender. This was a radical departure from the traditional way of depicting love in art, which was typically more restrained and idealized.

The Kiss & Its Interpretations

The Kiss by Auguste Rodin

Symbol of Eternal Love

A popular interpretation of The Kiss is that it represents the theme of eternal love. Rodin himself described the statue as an embodiment of love and passion, portraying the moment when two lovers share a passionate embrace. The form and expressions convey intense emotion, with the male figure enveloping the female figure in his arms while her head tilts back in a state of ecstasy. This interpretation of The Kiss has made it an iconic symbol of romantic love, inspiring countless artists, writers, and poets over the years.

The Kiss by Auguste Rodin

Contrasting Emotions

Given that Rodin was inspired by the doomed adulterous lovers from Dante's Inferno, The Kiss is also interpreted as representing the complex emotions of love and desire. The couple's faces express different emotions. The man appears to be the initiator of the kiss, while the woman seems to be hesitant or even resistant. Some have seen this as the epitome of sexual infatuation and tension, a battle between passion and restraint. Others have interpreted it as a commentary on the complexities of love and relationships, suggesting that it can be difficult to fully understand or reconcile the emotions of two people in love.

The Kiss by Auguste Rodin

Sensual Sensibility

Rodin's unconventional approach to sculpture challenged traditional artistic conventions, and The Kiss is no exception. Unlike traditional sculptures of the time, which celebrated beauty and idealized forms, The Kiss celebrates the sensuality and beauty of the human form in its natural state. The couple is depicted with their clothes partially draped around them, emphasizing the raw physicality of the moment. The statue's overt sexuality was considered scandalous and lewd by religious locals, but today it is celebrated as a masterpiece of sensual sensibility.

Interesting Facts About The Kiss

The Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin
  • The Kiss was originally intended to be a part of a larger work, Gates of Hell.
  • The Kiss was inspired partially by adulterous characters Dante met in the 2nd circle of Inferno- Paolo and Francesca.
  • The statue has been featured in various forms of popular culture, including films and music videos like Dead Poets Society, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Cherish by Madonna, and even Clocks by Coldplay.
  • The statue was originally titled Francesca da Rimini, after one of the characters from the work.
  • The statue's unique pose, with the couple's faces almost touching, was highly unconventional for its time.
  • The statue was considered scandalous when it was first exhibited in 1887 because of its sensuality and explicit depiction of physical affection.
  • The Kiss was hidden in a French chateau during World War II to protect it from the Nazis.


Frequently Asked Questions About Auguste Rodin's The Kiss

Q. What is the material used to create The Kiss?

A. The original sculpture of The Kiss was created using bronze, a popular material for sculptures due to its durability and ability to hold fine details.

Q. Why is The Kiss considered one of Rodin's most famous works?

A. The Kiss is considered one of Rodin's most famous works because of its passionate and erotic subject matter. The sculpture portrays two lovers in an intimate embrace, which was considered scandalous at the time it was created.

Q. Is The Kiss a representation of a particular couple or individuals?

A. No, The Kiss is not a representation of a particular couple or individuals. Instead, it is meant to represent the universal theme of love and passion. It is however inspired by a couple from Dante's Inferno.

Q. How many casts of The Kiss exist today?

A. There are around 30 casts of The Kiss in different sizes and materials worldwide. The original cast can be found at the Musée Rodin in Paris.

Q. Can I touch The Kiss?

A. Touching sculptures is generally not allowed in the museums.

Q. What is the meaning behind the pose of the figures in The Kiss?

A. The pose of the figures in The Kiss is meant to convey the intense passion and emotion of the lovers. The figures are intertwined in a sensual embrace, with their bodies and limbs entangled in a way that suggests a deep connection and intimacy.

Q. Where is the original cast of The Kiss located?

A. The original cast of The Kiss is located at the Musée Rodin in Paris.

Q. What is the significance of the name "The Kiss"?

A. The name "The Kiss" reflects the subject matter of the sculpture, which is an intimate and passionate embrace between two lovers. The name is simple yet evocative, capturing the essence of the work in just two words.

Q. How has The Kiss influenced art and culture?

A. The Kiss has had a profound influence on art and culture since its creation. It has inspired countless artists and writers to explore themes of love and passion, and it has become an iconic symbol of romance and desire. The sculpture's beauty and emotional power continue to captivate and inspire people around the world.